Grand Haven Daily Tribune  January 4, 1898


The Closing Scene.


‘Tis midnight’s calm and holy hour!

The crescent moon is in the west;

Upon each dome, and roof, and tower,

A melancholy seems to rest;—

A solemn stillness reigns around,

Both on the land and on the sea:—

Except, at intervals, a sound

In measured tones, comes down to me.


Down from the zenith of the sky—

Aye! down from midnight’s ebon throne;

I hear the echo of a sigh!

And it increases to a moan!

I see the chariot wheels of night,

Moving in that supernal dome;

‘Till from that vaulted, awful height,

I hear the sounds of mourning come!


I see no slow paced funeral train—

No open grave—no somber pall;

But o’er the lake, and sandy plain,

A pallid dimness covers all!

But hark!  The sound of tolling bell,

Falls down distinctly on my ear!

It must be!  It is the knell

Of the departed, vanished year.


The young new moon looks wan tonight—

Its beams have lost their silvery sheen;

A sadness mingles with her light,

And she’s a melancholy queen!

The zephyrs from the sullen lake,

Seem gently sighing with the crowd;

The clouds are towering for his sake,

And each is mantled with a shroud.


The blossom time of “ninety seven”

The summer with its roses red;

The autumn with its fullness given,

And winter with its ermined head:

In solemn form they all draw nigh,

Beneath the concave overhead;

And in expressive silence, sigh

In sad remembrance of the dead!


This is a reminiscent hour—

A time for retrospective thought;

When all the past with mighty power;

Comes all unbidden, and unsought!

Oh! how it points the memory back,

To those bright vistas of the past—

Those balmy days, along life’s track,

Which were too beautiful to last!


Yes, back to childhood’s gladsome time—

And back to youth’s bright summer days:

To manhood’s sterner autumn prime.

‘Till age is crowned with winter’s bays:—

Hope, joy and love—they are no more—

They perished ‘neath Time’s ruthless tide,

And all we loved so much of yore,

Have sought for graves, in which to hide.


Old time has wrought with two-edged scythes

During all the centuries past;

Oh! how he swings, reaches and writhes,

To mow the nations down, at last!

However much we may shrink back,

And try to flee from him away;

Remorseless Time, is on our track,

And he may cut us down today.


Kingdoms and empires, rise and fall,

And yet, this Tyrant marches on!

Some stars above this earthly ball,

Shine for a night, and then are gone!

Mountains, may rear their lofty heads,

And look into the faces of God!

But after countless years have fled—

They’re often level with the sod!


What wrecks and wreckage, strewn his path!

What utter ruin has he wrought!

But he must cut the aftermath,

And then, Old Time, will come to nought!

Yes, he will reign beneath the skies,

‘Till earth and all its scenes are o’er;

And ‘till the great Archangel cries,—

“Time was:  But Time shall be no more!”


Grand Haven, Mich., Jan, 1. A. D. 1898



Hunton Poem Page

   Microfilm Scan   The Closing Scene

Next Poem